Don’t push delete! Why your siloed data is actually buried treasure

Effective campaign management that delivers a return on investment every time is no easy task. Targeting existing policyholders and/or prospects at the right time, with the right offer, and through the right channel requires detailed planning, smart execution, and ongoing analysis of the outcomes to improve performance. The chance of achieving these goals is improved greatly in organizations where customer data is managed in a way that can facilitate the marketing ‘Holy Grail’ — a single customer view.

So what exactly is a single customer view? Put simply it is a single view of a policy holder/client or prospect that includes all the data your organization currently possesses regarding that person. This could include contact details, policies held, preferred communication channels, previous responses to marketing activity and more. The benefit of assembling this data into a ‘single view’ is that it empowers marketers to better target and personalize future customer interactions.


Mining for gold

The issue, however, is that this information is oftentimes held in a number of disparate databases and a single customer view is not available.  That notwithstanding, an effective workaround is possible in the form of a ‘data mart’. Here the important data from disparate systems and data silos is drawn into a separate data depository and a single customer view enabled. Updates made to client records in the individual systems are then automatically populated into the data mart view, so the customer view is always current.

From an ROI perspective, the creation of a data mart can deliver outstanding results for insurers, as the following case study demonstrates:


Case Study

The challenge
A large multi-national insurance company had concerns about the efficiency of its marketing efforts and wanted some ‘exploratory’ work done. The company wanted to establish the possibility of extracting data from its array of different systems — data which could then be applied to better inform its strategy around brand expansion and customer propositions.  

The solution
The company brought together a host of different systems and data silos into a single data mart – enabling a single customer view and identifying multiple opportunities. One entirely unexpected result was that they uncovered millions of dollars in premiums which had not been charged, even though the policyholders were still being provided full cover.  

The result
The $80,000 project returned almost $10m to the company immediately — and provided insights which led the insurer to establish an additional brand and associated product range in the marketplace, while simultaneously improving its foundation business through better targeting and messaging.


The bottom line

As companies face questions about their customers and marketing strategies, the inclination to turn to gut instinct or industry experience for answers is waning as the true value inherent in existing customer data is better understood. The short truth is that marketers who embrace evidence-based decision making are virtually guaranteed a competitive advantage. Huge opportunities await those inclined to jump into the data pool, and once they get started they’ll never want to stop.


About the author

Sally Carey is a director of Datamine and has over 20 years experience consulting on data analytics solutions across a range of industry sectors. Carey specializes in delivering clarity from the complexity of big data – advising organizations on a host of predictive analytics disciplines - including quantitative decision making, loyalty programmes, organizational change and marketing strategy.